Matthew 5:8 (NIV)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
First, I want to say, “Thank you for your patience.” It has been a crazy couple of months with holidays and my 50th birthday. I have had a lot of attitude changes over the last few months. For those who deal with mental and physical illness, and not really liking who they are, it has been life changing. I have come to a place where I may not be feeling my best, but I have decided to truly enjoy my life and enjoy being a woman for the first time in my life. I have several men in my life, who have helped me see the beauty I hold and haven’t seen for myself. I have always felt that being a girl/woman has been a disadvantage growing up and just came to a realization that I have been wrong for 50 years. Being a woman is not a disadvantage it is the power of showing the tender side of God and the beauty of creation.
So, what does this have to do with our passage for the week? It comes down to the meaning of purity and the purity of our hearts. We think of the surface meaning of purity as being clean, of not having a mixing of anything making us unacceptable. Like being 100% German, Scandinavian, Indian, French or whatever. We become so hung up on purebred that we forget that there is a purity of spirit and conscience that has nothing to do with our physical makeup.
The Greek word for purity in our passage is katharos it means what we believe about what it means to be pure but it has deeper meaning. It means to be ‘fit to bear fruit,’ containing nothing forbidden, free from corruption, guilt or sin. This is a cleanliness of mind and spirit- a renewal of innocence within our lives. We get the English word, ‘catharsis,’ which is the means by which we can become pure in mind and spirit. It is the process that is used to get rid of the dirt, mud, and grime that life and experience can throw at us to make us unlovable not only to ourselves, but to others. It is also the process of sanctification to make us presentable to a Holy and Righteous God. It also makes us more presentable to ourselves and others in our lives.
There are many ways to activate catharsis in our lives, but to begin we need to see that unloveliness live in our lives, have the courage to see that we have allowed this dirt and grime in our lives, realize the need to change, and have the courage to go after the sanctification that we need, want, and desire. Unfortunately, there is no one way that works for everyone. Each person needs to come to a place where they are ready to change and find the way that works for them. Some will need professional help, some will need spiritual guidance, and others may just stumble on their answers in the eyes of someone special.
I have a friend that has really had an influence on this change and has kicked in my ‘want to.’ His motto is “I am just living the life.” Meaning, at this point he is enjoying being single. I have taken that motto to heart and changed it to ‘Live Life, Don’t! Sit on the Bench of Life.’ He and my male roommates are helping me see the beauty I hold and I am coming to accept that beauty. I am worth being around and it’s okay to have fun and I don’t have to feel guilty that I am not serving someone else or being productive.
I am also exploring other religious point of views, thanks to my friend, Mark. My conclusion so far is that there is a commonality among the belief systems I have looked at; and it comes down to living out the fruit of the Spirit in a real and practical way. It’s not about religion it is about purity of conscience and how we view God, ourselves, other people, and creation.
This is purity – cleaning our minds, hearts, and spirits – walking in the reality of a pure conscience, loving not only God, but ourselves; and allowing freedom to release us from the prisons we have created for ourselves and others.
Lord God, I pray that those who read these words will see the beauty that you created in them and give them the freedom that your purity can give them. Amen.
The References I used are: